Copenhagen is Scandinavia’s most visited city and with good reason. Start with its castles and canals before getting to know its modern day fashion in its museums, cutting edge kitchens and hippy communes.
A royal city, Copenhagen’s picturesque canals and cobbled streets have a storied past that spans back through the centuries. Prime among its regal sites is Rosenborg Slot, an early 17th-century castle complete with turreted tops and moated gables. While you’ll find its Renaissance upper rooms stunning, don’t forget to head below ground to the treasury, home to the nation’s crown jewels including the gem-studded sword of Christian III. To look further into Denmark’s past, the excellent Nationalmuseet exhibits everything from Stone Age tools and Viking weaponry to 18th century city apartments and toys. Even Copenhagen’s much-loved green spaces hark back to a time forgotten with Tivoli Gardens’ 19th century amusement rides; there’s a towering, rickety chair carousel and a roller coaster that’s been delighting children for over 100 years.
But Copenhagen doesn’t just look back, its got its eyes firmly focused on the new and the unusual. And, this is best seen in Christiana, something of a commune on the eastern side of the central semi-circle. Established by squatters in 1971, today its collectives, workshops and ramshackle DIY homes are well worth a visit with tours taking in music venues and craft shops. For something more structured, the Louisiana modern art museum is among the best in the world with exhibitions on expressionism, pop art and photography. However, you simply have to wander in to any of the city’s boutiques or pop up design exhibits to see why Copenhagen’s fashion and taste is respected the world over.
Food and drink
Home to 16 Michelin starred restaurants – not bad for a city of just over a million residents – it’s fair to say that Copenhagen is food obsessed. Delightful cafés line its waterways as bakeries serve up classic Danish pastries in all their freshly baked cinnamon glory. Possibly the most iconic Danish meal, however, is the open sandwich known as smorrebrod, traditionally spread with rich pâtés or topped with salt beef or roast pork. Buffets of cold cuts and fine cheeses are also particularly popular while freshly caught seafood features heavily. And, in terms of drinking, you’ll find plenty of chic bars while tours of the Carslberg and Tuborg breweries remain firm favourites for their guided tasting sessions.